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5 ways to build customer loyalty with delivery and pickup

March 15 / US

Whether your business leans toward delivery, pickup, or a mix of both, building loyalty is the way to keep customers coming back. As COVID restrictions begin to ease in many places and customers have the option to return to their favorite businesses, it’s critical to not only attract but also retain customers in this new environment. Read on for 5 essential tips business owners can use to build loyalty with their delivery and pickup customers.

Tip 1: Create an exceptional customer experience

Prioritize the experience you create for your patrons. Customers who feel heard and taken care of naturally will feel a closer connection to your business. From stellar service to amazing specials, you know best what makes your restaurant, grocery, or convenience store stand out. Once you nail this, the other pieces will fall into place.

Never sell yourself short

One critical point: this is not the place for modesty. If you’re going above and beyond, make sure your customers see your passion for their satisfaction. Even a small gesture, like writing a thank-you note on the receipt, can leave a big impression.

Tip 2: Build a loyalty program

Everyone likes feeling rewarded. Everyone. So rewarding customers for choosing your business is a sure-fire way to turn every-so-often patrons into regulars. Most third-party delivery partners like Uber Eats offer tools to create a digital loyalty program that’s easy to manage and convenient for customers.

With Uber Eats, merchants can set up loyalty programs right from the platform, giving repeat customers access to discounts and free items. Think of it as a digital punch card—one that customers don’t have to worry about losing. You can customize your program based on what’s best for your business. For example, you can let customers make progress toward a reward that’s order-based, such as getting a reward after 10 orders of $30, or spending-based, like customers getting a reward after spending $100.

Rewards based on number of orders

Loyalty programs are most effective when customers see benefits after 3-5 orders. That may seem like a small number, but making the reward more attainable will make customers more likely to work toward it. Also, setting a minimum order size that’s similar to or slightly higher than your current average will help ensure that your program is profitable.

Rewards based on how much is spent

Following the 10% rule works best in this case. The value of the reward should be at least 10% of the customer’s total spending. This formula makes sure programs of any size are compelling. For example, if your program will be a reward earned after spending $50, the reward should be at least $5 (10% of $50).. Depending on your business, you can increase this percentage, but it’s an easy rule of thumb to keep in mind.

Using custom rewards

You can also customize the reward itself, whether it’s a credit to use at your store on Uber Eats or a free menu item customers can unlock. Keep in mind: when a customer earns a reward, it can only be applied to a future order at your restaurant location and will expire after 90 days.

Once you get the hang of order-based, spending-based, and custom rewards, you can add extra perks to your program to encourage customers to reorder within a 7-day period by experimenting with double rewards progress. This extra boost can supercharge your loyalty program.

Tip 3: Tap into existing partner loyalty programs

Some third-party platforms also offer customers subscription-based benefits. For instance, Uber Eats gives merchants access to Uber One members. Unlike other programs, Uber One extends across Uber’s rides and delivery network, and it incentivizes members to not only use rides but also order more often, thanks to the following perks:

  • Unlimited $0 Delivery Fee on eligible food, grocery, retail, convenience, and alcohol orders
  • 5% off eligible rides, deliveries, and pickup orders made on the Uber or Uber Eats apps
  • Uber One Promise on deliveries: $5 in Uber Cash if deliveries are late
  • And more, such as special offers, promos, premium member support, and other exclusive benefits

When merchants partner with Uber Eats, they can gain visibility into and exposure to an engaged customer base, which can result in more orders and higher revenue.

Tip 4: Respond to customer reviews (even if they’re negative)

Customers tend to trust other customers. Review sites like Yelp have built their entire business model on that premise. So it stands to reason that reviews for your business—wherever they may be—influence how potential and existing customers think of you. Even negative reviews, if handled well, can work in your favor. It all comes down to how you respond.

On platforms like Uber Eats, customers are prompted to leave a rating of up to 5 stars and a review after every order. In the Feedback tab in the Uber Eats Manager app, you can get the full picture of the customer’s sentiment. This is a unique opportunity for businesses that partner with Uber Eats.

Customers are given an opportunity to provide unbiased feedback that can help you improve your experience going forward. You can use this space to thank customers for a positive review or make things right with a thoughtful response to negative feedback. Consider rewarding customers who leave rave reviews in addition to those who leave a complaint or have an issue with their order. At the end of the day, people want to see that you care.

How it works on Uber Eats

When a customer leaves a review on our platform, merchants will get an alert in the Uber Eats Manager app. Businesses can respond within 7 days of a customer leaving a rating, review, or question by selecting Reply in Uber Eats Manager. In addition to leaving a note in response, merchants can provide a monetary offer for the customer’s next order. Any appeasement will be saved to the customer’s account and automatically applied when they order from your business again. That means you don’t have to worry about remembering a customer’s name to ensure that they receive the benefit.

Please note: individual customer reviews and the business’s responses are private, but your average reviews contribute to the overall restaurant rating on Uber Eats.

Tip 5: Look at the bigger picture rather than case by case

Last but not least, it’s important to track your relationship with customers. This will help you understand the broader context of individual reviews—whether a bad customer experience was a one-off mishap, a recurring problem, or a case of chronic negativity. 

For example, Uber Eats gives you tools to field and track customer reviews with actual data in the Feedback tab in Uber Eats Manager. This includes a breakdown of valuable metrics like the following:

  • Overall store rating and how this is calculated
  • Individual menu item ratings based on customer feedback
  • Delivery handoff rating

This data can help you in countless ways. For instance, a low rating on a number of your items may mean that it’s time for a menu refresh, while a weak delivery handoff rating can point to a need for more travel-friendly packaging. Customers can also call out an item they miss or if the portion size of an item is too small. 

Feedback always matters—the good, the bad, and the non-constructive—because it helps you improve your business, serve customers better, and build loyalty. To put it another way, loyal customers are the difference between being just another restaurant, grocery store, or convenience store and being the spot that people want to tell their friends about.

Use loyalty to convert regulars into advocates

Customers appreciate an exceptional experience and will reward you with repeat business. When you partner with Uber Eats, you can access tools that can amplify your connection with your delivery and pickup customers. Using these tools can make their loyalty your secret to success.

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